Our bodies need dietary fat—particularly healthy oils—in order to lose weight and function properly. The right kinds of fats and oils help quash hunger, maximize your metabolism, and speed nutrients through your body. Healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil can actually help the body to burn calories. Extra virgin olive oil may also increase blood levels of serotonin, a hormone associated with satiety. Plus, olive oil is also loaded with polyphenols, antioxidants that help battle many diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis and brain deterioration.
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You may not have time for formal exercise, but the more you move, the more calories you burn. Perhaps you take a walk around the field during your kids' soccer practice or opt for the stairs and the far-out parking spot at work. Reconnect with your significant other by taking a brisk evening walk together. When you are trying to lose weight quickly, every little bit of movement counts.
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When it comes to heart-healthy grains, you’re likely well aware of the basics, like brown rice or quinoa, and their inherent benefits. But have you considered pearled barley? It’s steeped in fiber—about 10 grams to the 2.8 in quinoa—which, according to the Mayo Clinic, slashes your LDL cholesterol levels. (That’s the bad kind.) For more advice on your ticker, here are the 40 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease After 40.
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"The main culprit that slows metabolism and often leads to yo-yo dieting is what I call shrinking muscle syndrome," says Caroline Apovian, MD, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center and the author of The Overnight Diet: The Proven Plan for Fast and Permanent Weight Loss. Starting at age 30, most people begin to lose about half a pound of the metabolism-revving tissue each year. Poof! Gone, just like that. And at age 50, the rate doubles. "The average sedentary woman may have lost nearly 15 pounds of muscle by the time she reaches her late 50s, a change that could cause her to gain nearly the same amount in body fat," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, a Prevention advisory board member and the director of fitness research at Quincy College in Massachusetts.